Cheryl Cole thought she was being 'Punk'd' when she was asked to be the face of L'Oreal.

The 28-year-old Girls Aloud star -who became an ambassador for the brand in 2009 - admits she first feared the offer was a joke.

She said: ''I remember how it felt when I first got The Call to say L'Oreal really wanted me to be involved with their next product. At first I thought I was being Punk'd. But, they were like, 'No, really'.''

Famed for her weekly 'x factor' style-offs with fellow judge Dannii Minogue, Cheryl says she used to look to her friends for fashion inspiration rather than celebrities.

She told Stylist magazine: ''I always had older friends and we didn't have much money but they'd always have glamorous clothes and gorgeous make-up. I used to look up to them and say, 'Wow, she's so pretty'.

''But, that was just local girls from my area. I wanted to be like them when I grew up. The girls really take care of themselves in the north. Especially in Newcastle, there's definitely more of a cultural feel down south, whereas up north, you can definitely spot a local girl from a mile away. You can tell if someone's out of town - they'll have their coat on during a night out.''

The '3 Words' hitmaker likes to ''make a statement'' when it comes to her make-up, but believes taking it off properly is even more important than putting it on.

She explained: ''You've got to take your makeup off at the end of the day. No questions about it. If I haven't washed my face I can feel it in my skin straight away so I always do it before bed no matter how tired I am.

''Even if you don't wear loads of make-up, you wear a little bit of mascara, it's important to remove all the dirt and grime you've collected throughout the day.

''I've used the same cleanser for ten years, it's got a little exfoliating grit in it. I think that's the key. Keeping skin hydrated is important too. It doesn't have to be complicated.''